Car companies from around the region and the world are in downtown Detroit for the next two weeks to show off their newest rides.
The recently renovated Cobo Center has been hosting the North American International Auto Show since 1965. The event started at a beer garden in the city's Riverside Park in 1907. This year, it includes 17 different auto companies who've put more than 50 new vehicles on display for media previews (often with elaborate presentations that vary between artistic and apocalyptic). Next weekend, it'll open to the public.
In all, the NAIAS is expected to bring in 800,000 visitors and contribute $365 million to the local economy, more than Super Bowl XL brought to Detroit in 2006 ($275 million or $317 million adjusted to inflation).
This will be the first auto show for Mike Duggan as mayor of the host city. Fighting off the relentless bankruptcy narrative that surrounds Detroit's international image these days, Duggan sees the event as an opportunity to prove that there's a lot more to the city than it's financial woes. Standing inside the much improved Cobo Center late last week, the mayor told press members, "Cobo has never looked better, and I don’t think the auto show has ever looked better."
Below, a look around downtown Detroit over the last few days as the city and car makers from around the world have been getting ready for the big event: